Press Release
May 02, 2024

BPI Direct BanKo, Inc., A Savings Bank (BanKo), the microfinance arm of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), won the prestigious 2024 Change Maker Award for Most Innovative Bank for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) at this year’s Universal Achievement Awards (UAA).

Receiving the award on behalf of BanKo is (center) Mayla Asuque, Field Sales Officer - VisMin. With her are (from left) Dr. Philip Wen Bombita, Vice Chairman of UAA Awards Committee, and Jennifer Argoncillo, Chairperson of UAA.

UAA is an annual recognition program of Project HOPE (Honest Opportunities for Philippine Entrepreneurs), a non-government organization that has been providing free livelihood and financial literacy programs to its 80,000 MSME members nationwide, aimed at honoring individuals, corporations, and organizations that made a positive impact in the communities where they operate in.

BanKo was awarded for its continuing commitment to advancing financial inclusion as part of its broader initiative to fuel the growth and development of the MSME sector.

The bank ranked first among the 13 MSME loan providers that were shortlisted for the award. It garnered a positive rating of 89% on a survey conducted by UAA and Project HOPE from March 2023 to February 2024. It was also cited as being the friendliest microfinance bank for having the fewest requirements, fastest turnaround time, friendliest collectors, most reasonable interest rates, and best savings programs.

BanKo President Rod Mabiasen, Jr. attributed the win to BanKo’s proactive digitalization efforts and new products introduced in 2023. These initiatives have streamlined banking experiences at branches and expanded innovative services to a larger base of MSME clients, especially self-employed microentrepreneurs seeking funding for their operations and business expansion.

“It’s truly an honor to be recognized as a Change Maker. Since the founding of BanKo, we have always worked hard to champion micro-entrepreneurs and and ensure inclusive and sustainable growth for them through our innovative, accessible, and affordable products, ” said Mabiasen. “As a trusted financial partner of Filipino MSMEs, we promise to continue to be maaasahan, malalapitan, at nagtitiwala sa kakayahan nilang umasenso.”

In 2023, Banko released Php14.96 billion of business loans to over 200,000 borrowing clients.

Complemented by its digitalization efforts, this achievement was reached through BanKo’s product development and product improvement initiatives, which resulted in the introduction of its stepped-up NegosyoKo Loan offerings, through which MSME clients can now loan up to P500,000 without collateral, and the new InstaCashKo Credit Line.

In 2023, BanKo opened 26 new branch-lite units (BLU) in different locations across the country, bringing the total number of branches and BLUs to 346. The bank operates in 77 out of 82 provinces, with branches in 125 cities, serving as the sole representative of BPI in 152 of these areas.

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